The ISA’s Diversity Initiative Paves the Way for Up and Coming Writers

The International Screenwriters’ Association kicked off the year with their list of Top 25 Screenwriters to Watch in 2023, and they are now on the search for more diverse up and coming writers to share with their industry partners. The ISA Diversity Initiative, started in 2021, strives to elevate writers from underrepresented and marginalized communities, with a goal to break down barriers and celebrate authentic narratives. 

“The Diversity Initiative is an integral piece of the work we do at the ISA to find inspiring, relevant and thoughtful voices,” said ISA’s VP of Development, Felicity Wren, “Diversity enhances creativity, and broadens our horizons, and the writers of the stories deserve to be celebrated, supported and shared.”

Each year, the ISA selects three writers to join their prestigious Development Slate and champions their work to industry partners including Harpo Productions, Unanimous Media, Bron Studios, ABC Signature, MGM, ICM, LakeShore Entertainment, Miramax, Disney+, CAA, Nickelodeon, and Paramount Players. 

Last season’s selections included writers Travon Epps with his dramedy pilot “Dependents,” pp Hsiung with her one-hour TV drama “Jaded,” and Kaisha Bicknell with her crime feature “The Past.” Since their time with the initiative, Epps has gone on to have his project “The Black Stuff” optioned by Extranormal (“Derry Girls”), Hsiung has taken a meeting with Miramax, and Bicknell’s project “Summer at Charlotte’s,” optioned by PrincFilms, has completed filming and is in post-production with Trilight Entertainment. 

This season’s selected writers will be considered by a renowned panel including Producer and Director Randall Winston (“Scrubs,” “Cougar Town,” “Grace and Frankie”) and executives from Bad Robot Productions, HBOMax, One Community, This Radicle Act Productions and Creative Cypher. In addition to ISA Development Slate acceptance, the three selected writers will also be considered for an option from Creative Cypher and will receive virtual mentor sessions with showrunners, network executives and producers in partnership with Creative Cypher’s Film XLerator. 

ISA’s Diversity Initiative is now open for applications through March 15th and is free to apply for all. For more information, please visit: https://www.networkisa.org/contest/view/isa-diversity-intiative

To view the ISA’s Top 25 Screenwriters to Watch in 2023, please visit: https://www.networkisa.org/Top25/2023

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